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Crunchyfrog



Joined: 12 Dec 2006
Posts: 3998

Posted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 10:42 pm    Post subject: Best Storygame  

]*PLEASE READ ALL EXCERPTS IN THIS THREAD BEFORE VOTING.*





Nominations -
Indelible by Scissorkitty
The Weatherwarden by FatHairyApe
The Hunt by DeadManWalking
The Magician's Touch by Crunchyfrog
Sector 17 by Reiso
Tired of Death by Chinaren
Grim Reaping by Ashkent
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Crunchyfrog



Joined: 12 Dec 2006
Posts: 3998

Posted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 11:28 pm    Post subject:  

Tired of Death


Tired of Death holds the record for the longest running completed Storygame on IF, a tome of 40 chapters, starting in May 2006. Voted Storygame of the Month in June 2006, Tired had a firm position as the top favorite Storygame in IF. It is not a stranger to IFY extravaganzas, having received nominations in 2007, and has been nominated in April 2009.

Tired of Death now has its own website, www.TiredofDeath.com.

Excerpt

Quote: “The imp’s stopped moving.” Cuthbert's voice came from just ahead of Dreth.

“Give the rope a tug,” said Dreth.

There was a distant yell. “Still alive then. Go on. Percy, lead the way.”

“Don't see why it has to be me up front all the time,” grumbled Percy. “Let's send the kid first.”

“Hey! That’s my son you’re talking about!”

“It's not your real son. You just put him together from spare parts. He has one of my old hands even. You never did it with anyone.”

“Ha! Shows how much you know,” Cuthbert's voice oozed smugness as they felt their way along a narrow passage.

“You never!”

“Did so! Remember Emmy?”

“Her??? Didn't that ranger bash her skull in?”

“Yes, thank you for reminding me about that. Anyway, we did 'the dance' in the lower tomb.”

“Are they talking about what I think they’re talking about?” asked Redthorne of Dreth.

“Who knows?” said Dreth. “However, I don't recommend trying to find out.”

“The social life of zombies seems to be more complex than I realized,” mulled the wizard. “Not that I’d thought about the subject much. At all in fact.”

Percy and Cuthbert were still talking, their voices echoing through the dark corridor.

“That bitch! She told me she was frigid!”

“What can I say, some zombies...” Cuthbert was cut off from a voice ahead.

“Finally you get here.”

“Is that you Ichabod?” asked Percy, bumping into Cuthbert, who had stopped abruptly.

“No, I’m the tooth fairy with a back-payment.”

“What are you waiting for imp?” Dreth asked.

“Do they give back payment?”

“I banged my head on something on the wall. I thought I would wait until you kind gentlemen came along to investigate, as my hands are currently tied behind my back for some reason.”
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Crunchyfrog



Joined: 12 Dec 2006
Posts: 3998

Posted: Wed Sep 02, 2009 12:05 am    Post subject:  

The Magician's Touch


The Magician's Touch began life as a 'Write a Chapter' competition in January 2007. In March it was converted into a Storygame. Voted Storygame of the Month in October 2007 the Magician's Touch is still running, and was nominated for Best Storygame in April 2009.


Excerpt

Quote: “Eh, Mr. Wilson! Wake up!”

The delivery van doors were open, and the driver was shining a lantern inside. Wilson shielded his eyes.

“Last chance to stretch yer legs before we get to Stanning,” he said. “Careful now, it’s a bit gusty out here.”

Wilson scrambled over chairs and tables, and dropped out of the van onto the road. The labourer’s clothes he’d been given as a disguise made him itch, but he was glad of the thick woollen jacket and scarf that Galloway’s department had provided.

The vehicle creaked and swayed as the wind buffeted its sides. Heavy clouds edged in moonlight slid across the sky, scattering raindrops in their wake. Despite the rain, the clean cold air was a welcome change for Wilson. He promised himself he’d bring his daughters out into the countryside when the weather was better.

Arms folded against the wind, Wilson trudged to the front of the van while the driver emptied his bladder by the side of the road. He could see a cluster of lights twinkling in the dark valley ahead.

“Is that Stanning?”

“Indeed it is, Sir, but I’ll be turnin’ off before we get there. Me lodgings fer the night is further on an’ it’s late. Yer policeman said there’s folk from Stanning waitin’ for yer at the junction – just beyond that rise, Sir. I hope they got a cart... Stanning’s a quarter hour ride from there.”

“Thank you,” said Wilson.

“Get back in an’ close the door when yer ready,” shouted the driver from the front.

Wilson climbed back into the van and was just reaching to close the door when the crack of a pistol cut through the wind, followed by a hollow groan from the driver. Every muscle in Wilson’s body jumped as if it was he that had been shot. The van shook as the horse whinnied and reared, and Wilson heard an unfamiliar shout from the front. Footsteps crunched on the road, and he knew someone was coming for him.
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Crunchyfrog



Joined: 12 Dec 2006
Posts: 3998

Posted: Sun Sep 06, 2009 12:11 am    Post subject:  

Grim Reaping



Grim Reaping began in December 2007. Voted Storygame of the Month in February 2008, Grim Reaping is still running in the General Fiction section and has been nominated for Best Storygame in April 2009.

Excerpt

Quote: Chapter VIII

“Yes, I know these things always start very simple,” I said to Pinkie. “But I’m starting to think of these situations in a similar way to humans; complications come with development.”

“Arr arrr?”

“They are. That is why I do not mind coming to this kind of party. It is very rarely one of the young ones I am here for.”

The party had been laid on in honour of a child called Nigel, who was four years old. The rather large house had been decorated in sufficiently elaborate fashion to make the equally large gathering of children believe they were not inside a normal abode but had in fact been magically teleported into the heart of a travelling circus.

The walls were lost beneath lashings of streamers and banners, while a multitude of rainbow coloured balloons hung from the ceiling. Loud music of the current trend boomed from the very modern player and I wondered, not for the first time in my existence, if using my scythe on the wire giving it life would be deemed improper. Given the choice, I would always have selected something classical over something modern. A piece with lots of violins. Not exactly birthday party music though.

“As I was saying, it was Boris, the unlucky gravedigger, who directed me to his employer for some answers. Mr Bones– ”

“Arr?”

“A bit of an unfortunate name I know, but sometimes these things happen. Mr Bones was– ”

“Arrr!”

“Is it that time already?”

Indeed it was that time already. I looked across the room, beyond the banners and balloons, through a doorway and into the kitchen where Herman Crisp, one hundred and two years of age and the great-great-grandfather of Nigel, let out a gasp and fell headfirst into the moist icing of the birthday cake.

I moved through the crowd of children, who continued to dance, shout, pull each other’s hair and poke each other in the eye without the slightest knowledge of what had occurred nearby. I paused once on the way to return the curious wave of an infant.

Human’s may see me at two periods of their lives, you see. When they die, or in some cases just prior to their death, and in their first month of life. I don’t know why this is, and I have never felt the need to ask, although I do believe Jimmy once told me that very young humans are more perceptible to the strange and unusual along with a select few elders.

The soul of Herman Crisp had no trouble seeing me at all, even though the ghostly memory of white icing that clung to his spectral face.

“I fought in the bloody war,” Herman spluttered at me, “and the most dignified way you can give me for dying is face down in our Nigel’s cake?”

“I’m sorry,” I said. “I don’t decide the method. I am just a caretaker really. I clean up what is left behind.”

“Well at least you look like I expected,” Herman said, looking me up and down. “I was worried that the day I snuffed it I’d be palmed off with some dreadful excuse for a – what in the name of the Lord is that?”

“Arr?” enquired Pinkie, while his little mind probably urged him to bite the ghostly finger pointing at him.

“This is my…associate,” I said. It was the truth, I just tried not to advertise the fact. Some phantoms are funny about this type of thing; they expect tall, thin and black and would be less than impressed if they believed one day someone could be faced with short, illiterate and dumpy. “He keeps certain affairs of mine in order.”

“Arr?” Pinkie asked again.

“Yes, you,” I told him, pondering whether a jab in what I assumes to be his shin would encourage him to shut up.

“Is that all he says?” Herman asked.

“To you, yes,” I replied. “To me, he regrettably says much more.”

“I hope you’re not expecting sympathy?”

“I assume you are expecting a visa to Heaven?”

“You have my utmost sympathy.”

“And you have your visa. Sign there.”
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Crunchyfrog



Joined: 12 Dec 2006
Posts: 3998

Posted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 1:29 am    Post subject:  

Sector 17, By Reiso

Sector 17 began in March 2009 with a series of polls to determine the elements of the story. Voted Storygame of the Month in April 2009, it is still running.

Excerpt

Quote:

”What the hell is he thinking, Sarah? I mean, there could be anything in that rock. Anything.”

“That’s exactly what he’s thinking. He just finds that prospect more fascinating than dangerous.” Sarah seemed a little fascinated herself, as she stared at the display of the sample room. Her words had been distracted, detached. She tugged lightly at the flesh of her thumb with her teeth as she watched, her eyes all but glossed over as she waited to see what would happen next. There was little else to do at this point but join her.

The picture was practically washed out by the light as Kent torched his way through the damn rock. Vaporous smoke poured away from the stone in great billowing plumes, obscuring any details not already hidden by the light. How the hell would he even be able to tell what he found like that? “He should slow down.”

“…huh?”

Jerry sighed. Sarah tried to help—she really did. But despite her more practical sense on the surface, she was more like Kent than she knew. She was drawn by the same things as he was, and right now, that wasn’t helping at all. Jerry flipped the comm. toggle and pushed in his glasses. “Slow down, boss! You can’t see a damn thing!”

On the monitor, Kent didn’t seem to react at first. Then, after about a half second, he cocked his ear to one side as if he heard some faint buzzing in the corner.

That you, Jerry? What’s that you say?

“I said slow down, before you destroy whatever it is you’re looking for!” He had to shout over the sound of the cutting pen to be heard. He hated shouting.

Yeah, yeah… just let me get through this next bit and I’ll take a look at what we have here! Stop distracting me!

There was the unmistakable click of Kent switching his radio off. “Damn it.” There would be no talking to him or hearing what he said until he decided to turn it back on. Jerry was worried, he was more than worried. When Kent first reached out to the stone, it was several minutes before he took his hand away, and he had just stood there, silent. He hadn’t been responsive to questions, he didn’t move or twitch a muscle, he just stood there and stared at the damn thing. And now, he was cutting into it, completely cut off from their help, and they couldn’t even hear what was going on.

“It’s almost pretty, you know. The intensity of the light… it reminds me of something, but I don’t know what. It’s like something I knew a long time ago, but I’ve forgotten. I guess that sounds stupid, huh, Jer?”

“You’re enjoying this just as much as he is, aren’t you? You have any idea how much trouble we’re in if D.O. finds out about this? And that’s saying nothing of the threat that thing poses!”

“You’re too excitable, Jerry, calm down. Look—I went to bat for you, ok? We’re on the same page here. But he made his choice. We might as well get what we can out of it.

“Just like that, huh? I can’t believe you’re not even the slightest bit worried for him. Or us.”

Sarah put a hand to her brow, screwing her palm against her eye. “Of course I’m worried Jerry, but if I do nothing but sit here and worry about how worried I am, I’m gonna scream. So just shut up, ok? I don’t need this right now.”

God, he was trapped in a tin can at the bottom of the sea with crazy idiots. She didn’t need this? Kent wanted to stop, but he just couldn’t? What the hell was going on here, when did everyone take leave of their senses, and how the hell did he get stuck in this situation when he should have seen it coming from miles away?

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Crunchyfrog



Joined: 12 Dec 2006
Posts: 3998

Posted: Sat Sep 12, 2009 2:25 pm    Post subject:  

The Weatherwarden, by FatHairyApe




The Weatherwarden was born about a little more than a year ago. Since then it has reached Chapter Ten, gained a considerable readership, and was voted August 2008 Storygame of the Month.

The Weatherwarden is a tale about a boy named Dendrin with remarkable powers to keep the world's Balance in check. Along with his fellow warden, Raish, they must stop the Genesis Gem from falling into the hands of Ezekiel--for if it does, the universe will never be the same. Along the way, they learn more about their magical gifts, their necessary sacrifices, and the burden of the mission they have accepted.

Dendrin and Raish have seen different realms, love, death, and change. Now, their story is coming to the final showdown. Ezekiel and his cohorts are encircling the Gem in an attempt to sway the Balance of this realm. After all, magic is only limited to elements present; however, the Gem changes all of this. It has created apocalypse before, and there's no telling what it will do this time.

Thankfully, with the help of a Realm Keeper, a slain deity, and the underground Earth Nation, Dendrin and Raish may have a chance at destroying the Gem before it destroys them.


Excerpt

Quote: “You are to die by a friend’s hand,” he stated. The flames around him dimmed.

I turned to Raish. She was stunned. Her eyes searched for the humanity within the Tharkian Seer—she could not find it. Raish had just been told her fate; she had just been told that, indeed, one day she would not exist.

It was on this date, I believe, that her adolescence was over. There was no more innocence. No longer did she feel immortal. Raish, after this moment, was never the same.

The clairvoyant closed his left eye. The center, ashen eye twitched.

“What about me?” I asked, nervously. “Aren’t you supposed to tell me my fate before you tell us about the gem?” I couldn’t help myself. One part of me wanted to know for the obvious reason of security—I could do anything, as long as it wasn’t the way I was to die. There was,though, a growing malaise within me begging me to not push any further.

The Tharkian Seer turned to me, opening all of his eyes. I stared deep within them involuntarily. They, like magnets, petrified my gaze. At that instant, I saw fear, hope, and pain. I only saw feelings—I could not see what he could see.

“No,” he stated. “I cannot tell you.”

“W-why?” I managed.

“For if I do, everything will be different.”

“But you told Raish!” I said. I quickly glanced over my shoulder at her. She was almost trembling, staring at the fire floor in sadness.

“She is not you. I had to tell her. There will come a time where she must accept her fate knowingly, but you must accept yours unintentionally. It is the Balance.”
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Crunchyfrog



Joined: 12 Dec 2006
Posts: 3998

Posted: Sat Sep 12, 2009 11:46 pm    Post subject:  

Indelible, by Scissorkitty

Indelible began as a linear story in November 2008 and converted to a Storygame by its ninth chapter. It achieved SGOTM in March 2009, and is still running.

Excerpt


Quote: Hmm? What'll it be, me friends? What tea'll salve those hearts' desires?
Liam lounged in the chair, rocking slightly back and forth whilst waggling his outrageously orange eyebrows.

Leah puzzled, and gradually spun an answer from her scattered thoughts. Strange though this Irishman, indeed this whole little cafe may be, perhaps there was somewhat to learn anyway. Besides, even if it turned out to be crap, it would be a hilarious story to tell later. Okay. I want something that will.. um.. make my dreams more understandable. You know what I mean?

Oh, Aye. And ye? Liam's attention shifted to George, who in turn shifted rather uncomfortably in his seat. He looked to the ceiling, reading answers in the swirling stucco, and scratched at his bald scalp. Uh.. um. Nothing right now. I have to ... use the bathroom. George slipped from his seat, dodging Leah's nosy stare, and hightailed it around the corner to the Gents' room door. He linger, picking at the peeling green paint.

Are ye lost? Or just undecided? A slender, pale finger poked him unerringly in the ribs, and George nearly yelped, before biting his tongue in surprise.

What the fu.. oh! The redheaded waitress grinned at him, leaning over the pick-up counter to poke him once again.

Something to order? Mayhap something ye dinnae want to say in front of yon lassie?

She crooked her head in the direction from which he had come, and George felt a flush burn up the back of his neck. Who the hell were these nosy Irish bastards, anyway?

Pikeys.

Huh? He goggled at the waitress in confusion.

We are. Pikeys. At least, that's a common term, nasty though it may be. Travellers is what we prefer, or ye may ken better if I called us Gypsies, Tinkers or Knackers? She grinned once again, and waggled her fingers in a sudden hello.

An' I'm Dina, if that makes it easier for ye. "Waitress" looks strange on me immigration papers. She snickered.

George rolled his eyes at her lame joke, and scuffed his boots a little against the wainscoting. Yeah, alright. Well, there ... look. Is this tea business a load of shit or what? I don't want to be made into even more of an idiot than I already feel. This is weird fucking shit right here, and I don't know if i'm buying it.

Dina continued to grin, and held up her hand to forestall another round of angry muttering. When ye get chineese takeout, ye always read the fortune in the cookie, eh? He nodded. So, think of this like unto that. If ye think it's shite, then just do it for a lark. If it feels like more than that after, then ye ken take it as ye will. The thing of it is, ye get outta it what ye put into it. She poked him gently in the forehead. Now, just spit it out and get back to yer table before everyone starts thinking you're dead.

George laughed. Alright, okay. I.. uh.. I want a tea that will, you know.. Um. LetmemakeLeahhappy. The worlds tumbled out in a mass of wrinkled syllables. Feeling the heat rush back up his neck, he ducked his head and headed back to the table, hands jammed into his pockets. In the background, Dina grinned and shook her head. Her brother gave up his post as Leah's entertainment as George retook his seat, and Liam loped back to the kitchen to join his sister.

Leah faux-scowled at George suspiciously, and pinched his earlobe. Why the blush, mister? Been hitting on that sassy redhead in the back, eh? Men's room my ass. What, I'm not enough woman for ya? She laughed as he blushed even deeper, and scrunched deeper into the upholstered seat. I'm starting to like this place, you know? Kind of funky.

George rolled his eyes and re-adjusted his ear piercings. Yeah, you don't know the half of it. There's definitely something strange about this place. Probably put magic mushrooms in the fucking tea. He smirked back at Leah and tweaked her hair. You look like you were enjoying yourself anyway, snuggling up to that Liam guy.

They continued to squabble back and forth, for all the world like a pair of sibblings themselves, while back in the kitchen Dina leaned against her twin.

Ah, those two. One can't see past her feet, and t'other can't stop trippin' o'er his own! Dina punched her brother softly in the shoulder, and turned back to the boiling kettle. She neatly poured the steaming water into two empty, waiting china cups, and handed them back to Liam. Take these on out then, an' lets see what they make of themselves.
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Crunchyfrog



Joined: 12 Dec 2006
Posts: 3998

Posted: Sat Sep 12, 2009 11:56 pm    Post subject:  

The Hunt, by DeadManWalking


The Hunt began in September 2008, and was voted Storygame of the Month in November 2008, soon after it was promoted to the Fantasy Forest.

Quote:

“What is your name?”

The voice pierced my mind, quiet, but full of authority. It slashed through my thoughts like a cleaver through a child’s breath. I tore my eyes away from hers, and saw her for the first time. Her face was pale, untouched by sun and slim. Her hair, barely visible under the hood of her black cloak, was a black like a raven’s wing at midnight. One pale hand, decorated with jeweled bracelets, delicately held a staff.

It was a thing of nightmares. The head of the staff was a claw, black and shriveled, and it held what looked to be a diamond. But in the diamond…

In the diamond, was a writhing black thing, the essence of nightmare, like liquid falling from a spout, only… only alive. And moving, inside the diamond.

“I believe I asked what your name was. Would you like to tell me, or should I make you?”

Again, the voice cut through my mind, without remorse, or anger, simply a statement of intent. There was no malice in that voice. It made it all the worse to hear.

I stammered.

“Benjamin Metzger, ummm, ma’am”

Her eyes widened for a moment, and I heard a sharp hiss. Then, her eyes narrowed to slits.

“Do not fool with me, maggot. I do not know how you know that name, but do not deign to use it for you own. None outside the Shadowsworn and the Nightbringers know that name.” She waved her staff, and my feet rose off the ground. I felt like a giant hand was lifting me off the ground, and was squeezing.

I gasped out the first name that came to mind.

“Red October.”

The squeezing stopped, and I had time to contemplate my stupidity. Red October? That was the name of that movie. The Hunt for Red October. God. No one could really believe that as a name.

The woman planted her staff back on the ground, with a thud.

“Reddoc Tober. A curious name, but perhaps the right one this time.” She cocked her head. “Follow me. The Dark Lord doesn’t like to wait.”

She turned, her cloak flaring as she strode from the room.

I ran after her uncertainly. Reddoc Tober? I guess it would have to do. I’d gone by a lot of names before, in acting, and I guess this wasn’t that much different. Except that if he went out of character, he could get squeezed again. Most likely worse. And who was this Dark Lord? That was like, the oldest name in the books.

I followed the woman through dark double doors, inlaid with writing and runes, and down a strangely familiar corridor. It was black marble, with torches like raven claws and gargoyles standing guard at the corners. It was almost like… But no. That was the opposite. All white stone, with angels and… But it was exactly like the summoning scene. Except the reverse. Dark to light. And this time, something heeded the summons. I heeded the summons.

But in the screenplay, this was supposed to be a fortress of Light! Led by the powerful Lord Metzge…. All right, that had been a small conceit. Who could resist little things like that? But that man had been a force of light. If everything was flipped, then that must mean that he was the Dark Lord. But did that mean that the people besieging the castle were the Good guys?

But in the scripts, the castle survives. Also in the script, nothing got summoned. What would happen now?

The scales were weighing heavily on the Evil side right now.

I almost smashed into the woman as she halted before an even more massive portal.

It stood forty feet high, and was ten feet wide, made of some black metal. In the door, reflecting the eldritch light of the torches, shone a ghastly frieze, with horrific scenes depicting things better left unnamed.

The cloaked woman grabbed a knocker, a naked woman, her back arched so that her hands were bound to her feet in an intricate knot, an expression of pain and terror gracing her face. She was so lifelike that I could swear she took a tortured breath as the cloaked woman’s hand wrapped itself around her torso.

The knocker fell against the door once, twice, and I could swear that I heard a gasp underneath those echoing eerie knocks.

The portal boomed open.

The woman walked through.

I followed.

What I saw took my breath away.

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